5 Motivating Stories Of Americans Who Failed Painfully Before They Succeeded

Don’t let bad times get over you!

If you are facing failures in professional life and have almost lost hope, don’t let bad times get over you.

Here are five stories of people who failed more than once before succeeding in life.

1. MIT research scientist and rock climber who had lost his legs

Hugh Herr, a natural-born rock climber, impressed everybody when at the age of eight he had scaled Mount Temple in the Canadian Rockies. In 1982, when he was only 17, he was already acknowledged as one of the best climbers in the USA.

When I was first fit with prosthesis, I was just shocked at how crude and unsophisticated they were.

That year became a watershed for him. During the expedition to Mount Washington, Hugh Herr and his fellow Jeff Batzer were caught in a blizzard, lost their way and spent three nights in a cave with −29°C.

Публикация от MIT Media Lab (@hughherr)

Climbers suffered severe frostbite, Herr lost both legs below the knees.

When I was first fit with prosthesis, about two months after the surgery, I was just shocked at how crude and unsophisticated they were,” Herr told ABC later.

“I just said to myself, ‘You’re kidding me. This can’t be all that exists.’ But it was true. That was in 1982.”

He must have quit his hobby but, despite everything,  he started climbing again even at a more advanced level.

He designed specialized advanced prostheses with high toe stiffness that made it possible to stand on small rock edges and titanium-spiked feet that assisted him in ascending steep ice walls.

Today Hugh Herr heads the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab and creates bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs.

The scientist has been awarded many times for his groundbreaking innovations.

In 2011, TIME magazine coined him the “Leader of the Bionic Age” because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of biomechatronics.

2. Entrepreneur and motivational speaker who was unemployed and impoverished

Lisa Nichols grew up on rough turf between two warring gangs in south Los Angeles, never got above a C in school.

“I felt rock bottom, and I realized, ‘I have to do something”

When she turned 27, she found herself raising a child whose father was in prison with less than $12 in her bank account.

The turning point in her life was a day when she realized she couldn’t afford Pampers for her son.

I felt rock bottom, and I realized, ‘I have to do something,” Nichols said. “I have to be my own rescue. No one’s going to rescue me.

She found a job running the Family Resource Center for the LA Unified School District. She saved  money with each paycheck to fund a dream that she hadn’t yet identified.

“That’s the way I live—winning is in my bloodline, and quitting was never an option” 

Then she started a program called Motivating the Teen Spirit.

She attended conferences and lectures on entrepreneurship and brand creation, and soon she was being paid to give such talks herself.

In her interview to Lisa  said, “My grandmother told me that quitters never win and winners never quit.

That’s the way I live—winning is in my bloodline, and quitting was never an option”

Today, Lisa Nichols is a millionaire entrepreneur, a best-selling author, a humanitarian and a motivational speaker.

3. Creator of popular messaging app who was rejected by tech giants

Computer engineer Brian Acton got a degree in computer science and worked for such giants as Apple Inc and Adobe Systems. In 1996 he became the 44th employee hired by Yahoo Inc.

In 1998, Yahoo hired Jan Coum as an infrastructure engineer. Acton and Coum worked together over the next nine years and in 2007 decided to take a year off and travel around South America.

After a one-year-trip both men applied to Facebook and Twitter and both their applications were rejected in 2009.

In 2009 former colleagues teamed up to develop messaging app Whatsapp, that gained a huge popularity.

In the year 2014 Facebook acquired Whatsapp for $19B and Acton received $3B for his stake in Whatsapp.

This September Brian Acton left the Facebook-owned messaging app to start a new chapter in his life.

He decided to start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications and his own non-profit business.

4. Millionaire investor who was homeless

Chris Gardner had a troubled childhood, growing up with three half-sisters and an abusive step father in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a teenager Chris Gardner had done odd jobs like washing dishes at a restaurant and attending to elderly patients at a nursing home.

He decided to pursue a job as a medical equipment salesman but his financial condition was poor.

Back then he couldn’t afford to rent an apartment and slept at motels, parks, airports and once even in a public toilet.

Son, if you want to, one day you could make a million dollars

Eventually he joined Dean Witter Reynolds, an American stock brokerage and securities firm, catering as a trainee for a monthly scholarship of $1,000 and after that became a full-employee.

He was able to rise above all the hardships, and achieve success in life because he always remembered his mother Bettye Jean’s words,

“Son, if you want to, one day you could make a million dollars.”

He established his own brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co. in 1987, in which he owned 75% of the stock.

The entrepreneur sold a small stake in Gardener Rich in 2006 in a multi-million dollar deal.

Today Gardner travels the world as a motivational speaker, and sponsors a number of charities for the homeless and organisations that combat violence against women.

5. Founder of rehab program who was imprisoned for 11 years


Dwight ‘Twin’ LeBlanc spent 11 years for drug possession, a crime that he insists he didn’t commit.

He spent this time focused on education  and helping fellow prisoners.

Most of these guys coming home have been gone a long time, and their families do not understand. I intercede for these guys

When was released in 2008 he returned to New Orleans, it was rocky at first. He was broken. He had no job  and lived on the street for a time.

As Dwight says, Most of these guys coming home have been gone a long time, and their families do not understand. I intercede for these guys. They come home and they have no job, no resources and their families tend to give up on them in the first two weeks.”


Today LeBlanc works to help other men and women have a smoother transition home. He gives them cash to get started.

He also buys smart watches and phones from Asia for them to sell and generate some initial cash, while they look for a permanent job.

Moreover, in 2016 he founded a program named R.A.A.P., which stands for Remaining Active After Prison.

R.A.A.P., serves to help those newly released from prison to adapt to living in the “free world” and the only demand is  to stay drug-free and be willing to work.

Preview image: Instagram, Whatsapp

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